NATO Intimidating Sweden

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has accused Russia of preparing a nuclear attack on Sweden. This statement was part of Stoltenberg’s official report, which was published on NATO’s website. The main purpose of this accusation is to initiate a new wave of Russophobia in Swedish society, which could make the previously neutral country join NATO.

Swedish Neutrality

Sweden, along with Switzerland, Austria and Finland is one of the few countries in Europe that is not a NATO member-state and officially adheres to the policy of neutrality. Sweden remained neutral during the two world wars and refused to enter NATO during the Cold War. This neutral position has been considered a special characteristic of Swedish politics.

Provoked Russophobia

Sweden's policy began to change in 2014 after Crimea reunited with Russia. NATO previously held a policy of engaging with neutral countries in order to fast-track their entry into the alliance, but Russia's geopolitical intention made Atlanticist forces intensify their efforts. Special importance was given to the Baltic States and Scandinavia.

Northern Europe’s Importance

In this region, the Alliance's ‘borders’ have direct contact with the Russian border. The Northwestern region of Russia has a great economic and strategic importance for the country. Here lies the second largest Russian city of St. Petersburg, and the base of the Northern Fleet, the most powerful Russian naval group. If southwestern Russia has contact with hostile Ukraine, in the north, there is a gap of neutral Finland and Sweden. These countries should become NATO member-states for the sequential isolation of Russia in the north.

Movement towards NATO

In 2014, for the first time, according to polls, most residents were in favor of Sweden joining NATO. This was stimulated by Russophobic media policies, in particular the canard that a Russian submarine was found in Swedish territorial waters. In 2015, the media reported Russia’s plans to capture the strategically important Swedish island of Gotland.

The current leadership of Sweden and Finland, especially the defense ministers, promotes rapprochement between their countries and NATO, and, thus, joining the Alliance. So, the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is in favor of the Swedish army’s active participation in NATO military exercises and the introduction of rapid reaction forces from the alliance.

New Northern War?

The anti-Russian subtext of this Scandinavian expansion, and the fundamental NATO role in the anti-Russian strategy in the Baltics and Northern Europe countries is obvious. The Baltics and Northern Europe became the scene for the majority of military exercises that simulated a military conflict with Russia. Public opinion in these countries constantly displays anti-Russian hysteria. The media tells the citizens of these northern countries about the possibility of a military conflict. In Norway, in the autumn of 2015, the television series ‘Occupied’ started to broadcast, in which Russia’s capture of the country was depicted.

The statement of the Ground Forces’ General Anders Brannstrom is significant. In an address to his subordinates, in preparation to the next exercise, he called for them to be prepared for a great war in Europe against an experienced opponent in the next three years. Most likely, he was talking about Russia.